Scene On the Run: No Marathon

There was no marathon. As I’m sure you’ve heard, Mayor Bloomberg canceled the race on Friday afternoon (5:30 pm) saying the race was “divisive” and building animosity towards runners and the event itself.

Of course I’m bummed but I’m not disappointed. While I said I would run if the race would’ve happened, this was the right call and it should’ve made earlier. I was selfishly relieved because I, and many runners, were torn and heavy hearted while we also believed the race would be good for the city. Alas, it’s over and done. There will be other years and many other marathons. Unfortunately others can’t say that. I count my blessings.

I’m still raising money for the Red Cross through Crowdrise. While I can no longer give you a cut of my heat sheet, I now offer to run a mile for each person who donates. Equally, if not more important…please donate blood, batteries, blankets, food, diapers, pet food. I know it’s a bit overwhelming so if you’d like more info on how you can get involved (even if you’re not in the NY/NJ area) please leave a comment or email me and I will help you get plugged in. Unfortunately the needs will not go away after this week. Many of those affected will be dealing with the Sandy aftermath for months, even years. So donate whatever you can and I will run a mile for you too…I’d love to be challenged to run 100 miles ūüėČ

Scene on the run this weekend…

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Notice I went on a mini food tour. Yeah, I basically read “marathon canceled” and immediately grabbed all the white sugar I could find and ate everything I’d given up for 40 days in about 40 minutes.

Happy Monday.

Why I Will Run the NYC Marathon Post-Sandy

I, like many runners, have been torn about whether to run the marathon. Whether we like it or not, this race is happening with or without us.

I mean no disrespect to those who are still dealing with the aftermath of Sandy. If anything, I pray for you and our city and have already sought opportunities to volunteer in the coming weeks.

While I am originally from Virginia, I consider myself a New Yorker. I always have been and always will be. I was here the weekend after 9-11 and I remember witnessing the resiliency, strength, and community that New Yorkers shared and I wanted a part. I cheered for the Yankees in the 2001 World Series because the city needed a reason to cheer (I have been rooting for the Yankees ever since). For the record, Hurricane Sandy is not 9-11; however, the people and their hearts are the same.

To quote Bart Yasso from My Life On the Run, pg 184:

“We had started the journey as Russians, Germans, Canadians, French, Americans, Irish, and Inuit, but we ended as athletes. Running does that to people. It brings unlikely folks together and fosters a fellowship like no other sport.”¬†

That is exactly what the Marathon does. Those who are normally divided by borough, race, economic status, neighborhood, street, creed, etc. are one on Marathon Day. And isn’t that what we all need in this time of distress? A little unity. There is no other day when you’ll see a kid from the projects hi-five an old Hasidic Jew. It’s one day where people put aside their differences to support and cheer for another human being. It’s a glimpse of Heaven.

The conditions aren’t perfect and I wish the circumstances were different, but I support New York City and will run for it this Sunday.

Today I am asking friends, family, and any other good Samaritans:

-OR-

  • If you cannot donate $, please donate blood or volunteer your time to one of the many great organizations working to help families affected by Sandy.

In exchange for your donation, I will mail you a cut of my heatsheet (it’s the aluminum thing marathoners get wrapped in after a race), will etch your name on my race day shirt, and sing your praises on my LeanGirlsClub blog. For one day, we can all be marathoners and New Yorkers.

This race is not about me, never has been. It’s for New York.

 

Sandy

They say that Sunday’s marathon is still happening. Sure, New Yorkers are resilient and the show must go on. On one hand the race brings over $350 million to the city, especially during a time when small businesses need it. On the other, it also seems wrong to shut down the city and take medical professionals and rescue officials away from recovery and rebuilding efforts. I’m conflicted.

I am one of the lucky ones to have power, heat, food, my home and no personal damage done. If I run on Sunday, I will run with a greater purpose. I will run for my great city.

I couldn’t get to Manhattan but here are some shots of the Sandy aftermath from Astoria.

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Scene on the Run: Hurricane Sandy

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New York City has a different vibe, smell, sound in the rare times it’s bracing for a big storm. It’s something I can’t quite capture in photos.

My dear friend Nelle texted me asking how I was going to prepare for the marathon with six days remaining and Sandy crashing the party. My four goals for the next few days:

1. Continue to eat clean. Yes, I want a glass of wine but I don’t want anything badly enough to ruin the work I’ve put in.
2. Don’t get injured. My running group co-leader asked how I was going to get injured if I’m tapering. He clearly does not know how clumsy I am. I bruise and bump into things way too easily. Yesterday I took a misstep and now my foot hurts. Hope it’s better by Sunday.
3. Roll out and ice the Achilles every night.
4. Remember that all the work is done. I did my last long run yesterday. Sandy is actually a blessing because she’s forcing me to rest my legs these next few days. Always remember that not much is accomplished at the last minute. Preparation is key. I am ready!

Lastly, should the NYC Marathon be cancelled for any reason because of Sandy, which is highly doubtful, I will be ok. I read tweets and status updates about how the marathon “better not be cancelled” and it angers me. If it is, it means this storm will have been devastating to the city of New York and its people. Let’s not be so self -centered fellow runners. Instead, let’s pray for the homeless and those in evacuated areas and get through the week safely.

Be well. Be safe.

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20

We’re 20 days away from the big race, the ING NYC Marathon, and this weekend I ran my last (successful)¬†20 miler. I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me talk about this one race. Every time I post something on Facebook or Twitter about how many miles I ran, I’m pretty sure someone is rolling their eyes as much as I roll my eyes after reading someone’s political rant status update. So we’re even.

This post isn’t so much about the run itself, but rather why this particular run was better than all the others. A big big big THANKS to my friends Lisa at Early Morning Run and my Cherbrale (and her boyfriend Nick who was there in spirit) for meeting me at different points along the 20 miles and not letting me walk. Having to meet them at certain points by a certain time helped me stay on track and finish under four hours. It meant a lot that these folks would spend part of their weekend, outdoors on the coldest day yet in NYC, running with me.

It’s always nice to know that friends and family support you. I know mine ¬†support me and my goals 100% but many of them have never seen me run a race. Remember those days when your mom and dad came to your recital or game? You didn’t make a deal about them being there, but you definitely noticed when they were not. There’s something about the human spirit that is contagious. Isn’t that why we cheer for our favorite baseball team? We, the spectators, believe and know that our spirit and encouragement can sometimes lift the team out of the pits. We have faith when the athletes themselves don’t.

There are runners around you, or just people in general, who need your support and faith. Will you cheer for them?

Me? I will be fine.

Marathon Outfit: Option 1

With just 27 days away from the marathon, I’m preparing the most important component for the race: my outfit. I’m not joking. I don’t select workout clothes based on what looks cute, although it helps. Workout gear has to be performance enhancing, not inhibiting. Nothing that chaffes- which is why you’ll never see me run a long-distance race in shorts. What do you think of option 1? Your comments will help me decide what to try and what to consider when selecting the final outfit.Marathon Option 1

Marathon Countdown: 33 Days

I realized the other day that I had 40 days ’til the ING NYC Marathon. Little did I know I miscounted and had 38 days. Now I have 33.

I ran 20 miles this weekend. Actually, I ran, came home and realized on Map My Run that I only ran 18 so I went back out and ran another two. My body hurt. Literally locked up. And while I wanted to lay on the couch, I heard my physical therapist’s voice in my head reminding me to ice my Achilles. She made me look her in the eye and promise so I got my butt up and waddled to the freezer. I pay too much money for PT twice a week for me to screw it up over some ice.

Same thing with food.¬†While I had the urge to inhale a beer and pizza (carb loading at its best) because I “deserved” it,¬†I knew that a pizza wasn’t going to make me feel better. I needed something to restore and repair, so I opted for some fresh fruit, fish, and leafy greens. I’m so glad I did because I seem to have recovered faster than other long runs.

These are such simple things, but they made a huge difference. ¬†I work too hard, you too, to mess it all up with malnutrition (or not icing). Like I’m training my body to run great lengths, I’m having to train my body what to do afterward for optimal recovery and what to eat. It’s equally important. It just got serious. 33 days!

 

I’m Not A Runner

We’re eight weeks away from the 2012 ING NYC Marathon and I’m experiencing achilles, feet and knee pain. Great. Eight weeks away and not this. I scheduled an appointment with a podiatrist my coworker highly recommended on the Upper West Side. Let’s call him Dr. G.

He’s lovely. He’s gentle and personal. He listened to me and my concerns, even massaged my feet a little. And then told me I’m not built to be a runner, I’m not the ideal athlete, I’m bow-legged, and need to be stronger. (Insert record player scratch).

I was offended for a milli-second. I get it, I’m not built to be a runner. I’ve spent more of my life being a couch potato than I have being active. Maybe I do have bow-legs. But I’m not going to let that stop me from running. And he knew that.

I start physical therapy next week and have to go every week for the next six weeks. Dr. G didn’t even try to convince me to quit, he’s just going to “help me be stronger.” (Let’s not ignore the fact that I’m the strongest I’ve ever been in my life.)

The point is I have to work harder than the average person to do something I love to do. But isn’t that the irony of life? What we love to do is not always what we’re most naturally inclined to do, it’s usually the opposite. Anything worth having doesn’t come easy. And that’s why it’s so rewarding and fun when you actually get to do it. That’s what makes one an athlete. Not a jersey, or a fancy contract, or actually being the best at a sport. It’s hard work, persistence, and continuously aiming to be better.

Eight weeks ’til the NYC Marathon.

I may not be the ideal runner, but I will show them what an athlete looks like.